Till and never till the waving earth
Unleaves him with the ash of barking trees,
Will and never will the conquered
Chestnut nightmare sting the bees,
Jarred on honeydew and lime.
For once in a bishop's soutane soaring,
A moon went riding on the haggard
When all of Christendom was snoring,
Coarse as a belfry-batted blaggard,
Polite as the rood of time.
Till and never till the cashiered soul,
Demobbed as a rookery rifle-shot,
Wills and bewails the testament told,
Feathered down in a satin cot,
Swung for a capital crime.
Oh harrow me sideways, if I ever
Desecrate the rushy lake of marrow
With one red cherry stone whatsoever,
Or deflower the bed of passion's farrow
With an ill-winded rhyme.